Friday, June 03, 2005

Favorite Sox, From A To Z, (Part Eye)

Here's part one of a list of my favorite Red Sox players for each letter of the alphabet.

Rules: 1. Has to be a dude I remember. (I was born in '75, knew the names by '78, have audio-taped proof.) 2. Can't be on a 2004 post-season player, as the list would get overrun with those guys. Just know I love them all, although I'm not exactly building any shrines to Ramiro Mendoza at this point. 3. I think that's it for rules. Except to say that rules can be broken at any time. And I'm just gonna write each name; there won't be any letter headings, i.e. "Q:". Just look at the first letter of each name, and you'll know what letter I'm on. Duh. And it's by last name. Duh again. (HM=Honorable Mention.)

Tony Armas, 83-86. One of the first guys I thought of as "new". Joined Jim Rice as a huge power hitter. Had I heard "Toe knee arm ass" at that age, I would have liked him even more. But I guess you had to live closer to Boston to know these secret sayings. HM: Benny Agbayani, 02. Was Hawaiian. And got a lot of hits right away.

Oil Can Boyd, 82-89. The Can. Totally nuts. Come on. HM: Jack Brohamer, 78-80. Always used to draw pictures of him, using his baseball card as a guide. Liked how his name sounded like Jackhammer. HM: Darren Bragg, 96-98. Got dirty. Was from CT.

Roger Clemens, 84-96. Would have killed to be him then, would kill him now. HM=Mark Clear, 81-85. Learned about his "slurve" in the yearbook, circa '83.

Dick Drago, 74-75, 78-80. Kids like dragons. And weird moustaches. Sometimes. HM: Brian Daubach, 99-02, 04. I don't know, just always liked Daubach, despite what Pat once called his "oafish looks."

Dwight Evans, 72-90. So good to have a constant in your life. From birth to age 15, Dewey was there, and he'd gun you out at third from the wall. Also, toe-up stance and curly moustache. HM: Nick Esasky, 87. Had vertigo and a red beard, and was the home run king of the summer of '87. HM: Mike Easler, 84-85. The hit man. I actually thought "hit man" was another term for "designated hitter" at that time, because Ken Coleman would announce his name and then say "the hit man," like it was his position.

Carlton Fisk, 69, 71-80. My mom still can't believe he went to the White Sox. HM: Jeff Frye, 96-97, 99-00. And a little child shall lead them.

Tie: Rich Gedman, 80-90. Geddy Gasoline. Mentioned more on this blog than any other Red Sox. Nomar Garciaparra, 96-04. In our hearts always. HM: Jackie Gutierrez, 83-85. aka Jackie G. I like shortstops. And the name Jack, for some reason. [edit: this is actually a three-way tie. How could I forget Mike Greenwell, one of my all-time faves? Refused to trade him for Mattingly (obviously) in my rotisserie league that I did through the mail at age 13 before anybody did that stuff.]

Butch Hobson, 75-80. Loved the look of him, with the eye black and the flip up shades, and the black stripes showing on the stirrups. Wouldn't make my manager-by-letter list, though. HM: Sam Horn 87-89. Almost embarrassd to put him here, for fear people would think it has anything to do with his current popularity. But read my post about my Sam Horn experience from April '04. HM: Greg Harris, 89-94. Pitched with both hands!

Daryl Irvine, 90-92. The only Red Sox player ever whose named started with the letter "I," and the inspiration for this list. HM: Daryl Irvine, 90-92. See above.

Ed Jurak, 82-85. Loved the Scrabble-centric name. "They don't pronounce the J's up in New England, White."--Phil Rizzuto (Bill White was Scooter's partner in the booth.) HM: Reggie Jefferson, 95-99. Underrated. And I liked to taunt yankee fans with the Reg-gie chant. (Chanting "Boston Sucks" at them when Daryl Boston played for the yanks wasn't nearly as cool, or accepted.)

Randy Kutcher, 88-90. Loved the scrappy kid. He was scrappy, right? We called him Batman, but I forget why. It certainly didn't have to do with hitting! But the movie Batman came out right at that time. HM: Bruce Kison, 85. For the karate kick alone.

Fred Lynn, 74-80. Kids like names that sound like Fred Flinstone. Great ballplayer, great guy, still loves the Sox. Rookie of the Year in the year I was born. HM: Steve Lyons, 85-86, 91, 92, 93. Loved Psycho I, lost interest with the sequels, and especially in the Fox years. HM: Bill Lee, 69-78. I Discovered the wonders of Lee later in life, only vaguely remember him from when I was three. HM: Carney Lansford, 81-82. One of my first favorites, but got injured right away. Was psyched to get his baseball sticker in a pack in my Easter basket in '82. (My sister came away with the 45 of J. Geils' "Centerfold" b/w "Rage In A Cage" in her basket, a controversial move by the bunny, because of the content of "Centerfold.")

Lou Merloni, 98-99, 00-02, 03. Hustled. Local guy. Hope he got slipped a ring. HM: Bob Montgomery, 70-79. Loved the tape around the bat, last catcher to wear 10 before Gedman. (I told him that when I got his autograph. He certainly didn't care. I'm an idiot.) But I really got to know him as Monty, Sean McDonough's broadcast partner. HM: Rick Miller, 71-77, 81-85. Another guy I just liked the look of as a kid. And I liked the hard sounding letters. RRRickk MiLLeRRR. And 3 is my third favorite number. Was glad to see him at the parade.

Tune in next time for part two. By next time I mean eventually.

To clarify, I liked Daubach the player, but he struck me as kinda oaf-like, and that chinstrap beard he used to sport did him no favors. I just equate that beard with leprechauns and oafs. And f Monty for brushing off yr Gedman comments, he's just cranky because the team always calls him fill in at Autograph Alley whenever Dana Kiecker or whoever can't make it. He's always up there. If I ever see him sitting there again, I'm gonna ask him to sign "Carlton Fisk" on my scorecard. Monty's no Gedman.
Rage in the Cage was my favorite song on Freeze Frame. Since my father was a Black Sabbath fan, anything the J. Geils Band produced was mild by comparison (this includes Piss on the Wall, another Freeze Frame track) and could have been brought to me by Santa, the Easter Bunny or the Chanukah Armadillo. You’ve really got to give it up for Peter Wolf, too. He’s not afraid to put stuff like “wooba gooba with the green teeth” out there. And his confidence just makes it cool.

Dauby was hungry and I think it’s hard to dislike someone who tries so freaking hard. I agree that the chinstrap beard was not his best look. It made his face look rounder, pudgier somehow.

I really liked Jeff Frye, too. French Frye. Little Frye. Also, I have a thing about turning players’ names into one word, which is seamless when the last letter of the 1st name and the 1st letter of the last name are the same. Part of the reason I like Cliff Floyd.

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